Peace requires Courage

Peace requires courage. Away from all the voices explaining why their side is right, oppressed, or ethical. Peace, goes beyond the commotion, it goes beyond picking sides. It is being able to hear the other person speak before combatting them with an answer. It is seeing the other side as equally human, equally in the right, equally fragile. It requires the ability to see the enemy through an altruistic lens of forgiveness, empathy, and vulnerability.

The Prophet, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sent as a mercy to all of humanity – not just to the Muslim ummah but also to those who had once been against him (PBUH). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Never aspire for confronting your enemies (in a fight). Pray to God to be among those who seek living peacefully with others.”

Using Religion for Peace


Originally published in the Huffington Post:

You can only fight a war you believe in. Even if it isn’t for ideals, it must be on some level worth your individualistic need and time. What if we could strive for peace using the same narrative?

What if we could all believe that working for peace somehow was worth our individualistic need and time?

I visited Israel and Palestine this past December (2015). I had the opportunity to meet with several dignitaries, one being Yossi Klein Halevi. Yossi is an amazing author who is genuinely trying to bridge the Jewish-Muslim divide. A line from his book ‘At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden’ struck a chord with me. It said:

‘For peace: you must be willing to enter dangerous territories and have “courageous indifference to the judgment of your own communities”, who are unwilling to make peace with the enemy.’

I chose to visit Israel and Palestine because I wanted to hear both sides of the dialogue. I sought to understand the lives of my Palestinian and Jewish friends close to home. Comprehend from peace negotiators and researchers the challenges and frustrations everyday people faced. I wanted to see firsthand how failed peace attempts affected the morale of humans living on either side. For a more selfish reason however, I really wanted to visit Jerusalem.

Jerusalem the holy city of Prophets and Kings. The city of crusades and spiritual & religious enlightenment, a place where most people see conflict, I was naïve enough to see a semblance of cultures, intermingling, becoming one.

What I loved the most about Jerusalem also happens to be the reason for all the conflict. Church bells going off right after the ‘adhan’ (the Muslim call to prayer), worshippers of three different faiths covering their heads, seeking peace in the divine, walking in devotion overcoming their fears.


I met with Israeli Arabs, Arab Israelis, Christian Arabs, Jewish Arabs, and even Palestinian Israelis. Pretty much any multitude of combinations you can sum up. But mostly I met with every day people.

People who just wanted peace – kids who just sought brilliance through education, and folks who pursued spirituality. Individuals who went beyond their everyday difficulties of crossing checkpoints, braving knife attacks, and enduring aftermaths of missile attacks, to achieve some form of normalcy.

No matter your cause of who is right and wrong, no matter your reasoning of the discourse. No matter your side; looking at these relentless people striving towards normalcy, we must gather some form of hope.

We must realize that, as we foster our religious differences, we need to start focusing on religious commonalities. Considering that religion can be a medium for peace.

Understanding that it isn’t about ‘My religion’ or ‘Your religion’, but rather it is ‘HIS religion’.

For God has sent down His religion for all of humanity and with the sole purpose of upholding our duty towards good deeds.

“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into races and families so that you may know each other. The most honored of you in Allah’s sight are those who best keep their duty.” (Qur’an: 49:13)

“[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving.” (Qur’an 67:2)

Recognizing that these ‘Three faiths’ collide in ‘One city’ for ‘One GOD’.

And realizing that it isn’t about ‘My land’ or ‘Your land’, but rather, ‘We are a part of this land’, and will someday return to it.

“Every person has to have two pockets and in each pocket they have to carry a different note. And the note in one pocket says the universe was created for me. And in the other pocket the note says I am just dust and ashes.” (Rabbi Jonathan Spira-Savett)

A Touch of Solace.

In times of hate in times of war,
We all seem to be jumbled in a time so lost.
We wake up each morning wondering what’s next,
In hopes of making this day better than the rest.
Is it so hard to move in peace?
To forgive, forget and live not like beast?
I hope we learn to care some day
To make this world a little less gray
I am no one but one sole human being,
Trying to find light amidst the unseen.
But one person at a time is all it takes
Before we know it’ll be the whole human race
Change is permanent among all in store
So why not change the world gone so cold
So please join hands and bring some warmth
And give this world what it has lost.
A child of love, a child of peace
A child that could nurture the greatest beast.

Faith ~ isn’t found it is nurtured within you.

~ Falak Zaffer.

Forever in peace

A face in the subway
Shies away from the horde
In hopes through despair
She waits for her lover aboard

Her eyes seek patiently
From one stop to the next
While holding on to the railing
With every single breath

A man passes her by
Trying to look into her eyes
She gives a blank glance
As he loses his poise

A shiver runs down her soul
When she finally sees
Her lover with flowers
Behind the doors of steel

They kick off their heels
When they hug in deep embrace
With no worries nor shame
Just a little cry from within

The had been lost for years
In the midst of war
Palestine, Israel
They had seen it all

Had they not wept
For years & years on
For their eyes were soar
But their love evermore strong

A beautiful journey
Was to beget
As the train passed them by
Departing a sigh

What a taste of relief
It was to be
When suddenly the planes crashed
In New York City

They rushed for shelter
Amongst the crowd
But their they stood
In the heat of it all

Running away from wars
Was no great defeat
For the wars followed them
All the way from Mid-east

Their story ended
Far away from home
Under the rumble
Lay two departed souls

~ Falak